Thursday, April 25, 2019

Transgender Civil Rights Event

Outten & Golden LLP & the National Trans Bar Association will host a conversation on May 9th focusing on the future of trans & gender nonconforming civil rights. The event will be held at Outten & Golden's Washington D.C. office. The event will feature a panel discussion with Sasha Buchert – Senior Attorney, Lambda Legal, Chrysanthemum Desir – Youth & Juvenile Justice Fellow at FreeState Justice, Raffi Freedman-Gurspan – Director of Extern Relations, National Center for Transgender Equality & Victoria Rodriguez Roldan – Trans/Gender Non-Conforming Justice Project Director at the National LGBTQ Task Force. Sally J. Abrahamson, co-chair of Outten & Golden's LGBTQ Workplace Rights Practice Group will moderate the panel stating, "We are delighted to support this program, the National Transgender Bar Association & the important work it does. Our distinguished speakers are on the cutting edge of trans rights work & we are thrilled to have them share their perspectives on changes in TGNC laws & the path to making society a safer & more supportive place for transgender & gender nonconforming people." For 15 years Outten & Golden has been at the forefront of LGBTQ workplace rights. One of their most recent victories secured a class action settlement for Walmart employees in the United States & Puerto Rico unable to obtain health insurance coverage from the company for their gay & lesbian spouses. The firm is equally committed to representing TGNC workers, especially given setbacks & obstacles created by the Trump administration. The conversation & reception on May 9th will take place from 6P to 8:30P at Outten & Golden's offices at 601 Massachusetts Avenue NW, in Washington, D.C with a Rooftop reception to follow. Those wishing to attend must register by April 30th. (Graphic by Richard Emmanuel)
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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Lesbian Mayoral Candidate Wins

Jane Castor easily beat her opponent in the Tampa mayoral runoff Tuesday night becoming the first openly LGBTQ person elected mayor of a top 100 city in the Southeastern United States. Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund & Former Houston Mayor stated, “A lavender ceiling was shattered in Florida Tuesday night – with voters overwhelmingly electing Jane Castor the first openly lesbian big city mayor in the Southeastern United States. Both LGBTQ people & women face tremendous obstacles in running for public office, but Jane’s victory shows lesbian candidates can win citywide office with a strong record of public service & policy priorities that align with their constituents. While voters chose Jane because of her vision for Tampa, her willingness to be open & honest about her life lent her an authenticity that voters are drawn to not just in Tampa, but across the nation. That is why an unprecedented number of lesbian candidates are plowing through crowded primaries & winning big city mayoral races this cycle – putting us on-track to make 2019 the Year of the Lesbian Mayor.” Only five out lesbians have ever been elected mayor of top 100 cities – three of them elected just this year. If Jolie Justus wins her race for Kansas City mayor this June, that number will rise to six, tripling the number of lesbian mayors elected to top 100 cities. The LGBTQ Victory Fund works to change the face & voice of America’s politics & achieve equality for LGBTQ Americans by increasing the number of openly LGBTQ elected officials at all levels of government.
For More Info: victoryfund.org
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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Supreme Court Reviews LGBT Rights

It’s amazing that in 2019 our LGBT civil rights once again remain in the hands of a totally heterosexual U.S. Supreme Court with a proved bias against our community since Trump reinforced the bench with the appointments of Gorsuch & Kavanaugh. So as we go forward with the celebration of Stonewall’s 50th Anniversary in June we anticipate a judicial pendulum in October that could easily go either way. If the court rules in our favor Title VII of Civil Rights of 1964, which bars sex discrimination in the workplace will encompass protections for our LGBT community. If the court rules against equality for our LGBT community the fight continues. Regardless of the outcome we have 6 months to organize & mobilize something that we have been extremely successful with. This is not the time for complacency when so much is at stake. Laura Durso, Vice President of the LGBT Research & Communications Project at the Center for American Progress stated, “People should have the right to love who they love & be who they are without fear of losing their job. Too many lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender people face bias in the workplace, making it harder to provide for themselves & their families. The Supreme Court should affirm the growing consensus of federal courts in recognizing the reality of this discrimination in order to ensure that LGBT employees are guaranteed the same protections afforded to other workers.” It’s time once again to make LGBT equality history “of the people, by the people & for the people.” (Graphic by Richard Emmanuel)
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Monday, April 22, 2019

LGBT Executive Networking Event

Boston Spirit Magazine’s thirteenth annual LGBT Executive Networking Night takes place on Thursday May 2nd at the Copley Marriott Hotel from 6P to 9P. The Keynote Speaker this year will be Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline, Co-Chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus & the most senior gay member of Congress. Last month Congressman David Cicilline & Senators Jeff Merkley, Tammy Baldwin & Corey Booker reintroduced the Equality Act in the U.S. House & Senate. The Equality Act will prohibit discrimination across all 50 states by expanding the Civil Rights Act of 1964 & other existing civil rights laws & it will be very interesting to hear what he has to say about passing this overdue legislation. So join more than 1,000 LGBT corporate professionals & 50 exhibitors for a great night of networking. There will also be some incredible sessions on personal & professional development to check out. This is a very special event to meet with 50+ exhibitors & the opportunity to network with approximately 1,000 other LGBTQ professionals from the Greater Boston area. Many of the attending exhibitors are hiring so if you are in the market for a new career be sure to bring resumes & business cards. There will also be free appetizers & a cash bar. Boston Spirit Magazine’s thirteenth annual LGBT Executive Networking Night is sponsored by Boston Harbor Cruises, Citizens Bank, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Burns & Levinson, Rockland Trust, Santander, John Hancock, TD Bank, Keolis, Cambridge Savings Bank & Tufts Health Plan. There is a $15 admission fee at the door to attend the event.
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Saturday, April 20, 2019

Dining Out For Life April 24 (Audio)

Ted Allen, television personality & host of Food Network’s “Chopped” talks about Dining Out For Life the HIV/AIDS fundraiser that takes place in 60 cities across North America on Thursday April 25th. The event was conceived 28 years ago in Philadelphia & the concept is quite simple. More than 3,000 participating restaurants donate a generous percentage of that day’s proceeds to support service providers in their region to fund care, prevention, education, testing, counseling & other essential HIV/AIDS services. When asked what he would like Dining Out For Life to accomplish this year Allen stated, “Well I think the model has long been proven, it raises a lot of money. What I think we would like to accomplish this year is to raise more money than we ever had before & we are talking about millions & millions of dollars that you are helping to raise that stays in your community. The money that is raised in Houston is spent in Houston helping your own neighbors, people down the block & I think that’s another thing that people feel really good about with this technique of fundraising.” This year over 3,000 participating restaurants, thousands of volunteers & an expected 300,000+ diners will be served to raise over $4 million for people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States & Canada. Dining Out For Life is hosted by Subaru® & this is the fifth year OUTTAKE VOICES™ has supported this fab event. LISTEN
For More Info: diningoutforlife.com
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Thursday, April 18, 2019

National LGBTQ Give OUT Day

Hundreds of nonprofits are participating across the U.S. for Horizons Foundation’s Give OUT Day the only national day of giving for our LGBTQ community. The 24-hour online fundraising event brings together the LGBTQ communities & their allies across the United States April 18th now until Midnight. Roger Doughty, President of Horizons Foundation stated, “We are thrilled to be working with over 600 organizations on Give OUT Day. Participating organizations rely on the support of our community & this year we hope that Give OUT Day will make history & break the $1M mark for the first time. We continue to live in turbulent times for LGBTQ people, from the courts to the streets, but this year, as we mark 50 years since the Stonewall uprising, attention to our past, present & future remains critical. Give OUT Day has grown annually & this year we plan to break through the $1M dollar ceiling as we raise more funds & increase visibility for all of our participating organizations. This year, we will again reach thousands of LGBTQ individuals & our allies & support the organizations at the front lines of pride, dignity, justice & joy.” Give OUT Day has provided vital unrestricted operating funds to organizations since its inception in 2013. Over 45,000 individual donors have contributed nearly $5million & supported more than 600 different organizations in every part of the country. Give OUT Day is a project of Horizons Foundation. Founded as a community foundation of, by & for LGBTQ people, Horizons has been supporting LGBTQ nonprofit organizations, leaders & donors for nearly 40 years.
For More Info: giveoutday.org 
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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Trans Asylum Seeker Must Succeed

There will be a press conference calling to free Alejandra a transgender asylum seeker to stop her deportation on Wednesday, April 17th at Scales of Justice by the District Court 400 Lomas Blvd NW in Albuquerque, NM at 10A MST. Bekah Wolf, attorney to Alejandra stated, “Alejandra should have been released on parole over a year ago. It is outrageous that she faces deportation after being denied fair access to protection & being kept in inhumane conditions. There is no reason why she should be in this devastating situation today. Alejandra spent over ten years defending the rights of trans people in El Salvador. It is time for all of us, including the local community & human rights activists, to come together to support her. She should be free to do the life-changing work she has done for so many years.” A coalition of national & local organizations including TransLatin@ Coalition, Amnesty International & the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center have called on Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) to stop the deportation of Alejandra, the longest detained trans woman at the Cibola County Correctional Center. Alejandra fled El Salvador in 2017 to escape repeated extortion, threats & attacks. She was sexually assaulted by members of a transnational criminal gang as well as the Salvadoran military because of her transgender identity. Fearing it is not safe for her to return to El Salvador, Alejandra has been exercising her right to seek asylum to stay in the United States. She hopes to be reunited with her trans niece, who has already won asylum in the US.
For More Info: nmilc.org
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Monday, April 15, 2019

Pete Buttigieg Makes It Official

Pete Buttigieg becomes the first LGBTQ Democratic presidential candidate in U.S. history & the second openly gay candidate to make a bid for the White House. In 2011 we talked to Fred Karger on OUTTAKE VOICES™ who was the first openly gay GOP presidential candidate in American history. He was on the GOP ballot in New Hampshire & Michigan & received confirmation that his name would appear on the ballot in California, New York, Maryland, North Carolina & Puerto Rico. Fred Karger announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President of the United States on March 23rd 2011. Mayor Pete Buttigieg officially launched his presidential candidacy before a crowd of thousands in his hometown city of South Bend, Indiana Sunday afternoon. Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund stated, “Mayor Pete shattered a lavender ceiling once thought unbreakable, becoming the first openly LGBTQ Democratic presidential candidate in American history & our first real shot at the Oval Office. There is enormous power in an openly gay presidential candidate stumping at town halls in Iowa & speaking to Americans from the presidential debate stage – it changes perceptions of our community & raises the bar for candidates who seek LGBTQ support. While Mayor Pete’s candidacy is historic & a milestone moment for our community, his meteoric rise is most notable for the support he’s receiving from diverse groups of voters. There are enormous minefields & hurdles to running as an openly LGBTQ candidate & so far, Mayor Pete has gracefully leapt over them on the world’s largest political stage. He’s the real deal.”
For More Info: victoryfund.org
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Saturday, April 13, 2019

“Cabaret” Rocks The Footlight Club

There is a performance of “Cabaret” at The Footlight Club in Jamaica Plain in Boston that shouldn’t be missed. Unfortunately tonight is the last night of this stellar production. The Footlight Club is America’s oldest community theater that has produced performances every year since 1877. I was totally wowed by this production. The set was perfect, the actors were flawless & the orchestra rocked. The play began with the Emcee performed by David Rodrigues that set the tone. From there it just got better & better & could have rivaled any New York production. The story is a bit too close to our current political climate set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis are rising to power. Cabaret focuses on the nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub & revolves around young American writer Cliff Bradshaw & his relationship with English cabaret performer Sally Bowles. There are three versions of Cabaret based on the book by Joe Masteroff & the play by John Van Druten & Stories by Christopher Isherwood. In the Original 1966 version there is no suggestion that Cliff might be gay or bisexual. Then in the revised 1987 version where his bisexuality begins to emerge but in the 1998 version that Alan Cumming brought to life Cliff is clearly gay or bisexual. This was definitely the 1998 version. The play also stared Alexander Boyle as Clifford Bradshaw & Perry Albert as Sally Bowles. The featured cast included Matthew Finn, Susan Picillo, Jim Foster, Gill Lovegood, Todd Rinehart, Hugo Lindsay, Ally Rzesa, Nick Osborne, Lucas Brooks, Julia Bandini, Heather Jue-Wong, Alicia Powell & Stacy Sherman. It was directed by Vincent S. Ratsavong & Music Director was David Wright.
For Info & Tix; footlight.org
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Friday, April 12, 2019

NYC Pride March Grand Marshals

NYC Pride, the official host of World Pride 2019 & Stonewall 50 have announced its five Grand Marshals slated to lead both the 50th NYC Pride March on Sunday, June 30th & this year’s commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. The cast of POSE, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, Gay Liberation Front, The Trevor Project & Monica Helms will head this year’s celebration. POSE cast members Dominique Jackson (Elektra), Indya Moore (Angel) & MJ Rodriguez (Blanca) will represent the show. Phyll Opoku-Gyimahis is a community builder & organizer; a Kaleidoscope Trust Trustee; an Albert Kennedy Trust patron; Diva Magazine columnist & public speaker focusing on race, gender, sexuality & class. Gay Liberation Front was the very first LGBTQ activist organization formed after the Stonewall Rebellion. The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention & crisis intervention organization for our LGBTQ young people. Monica Helms is a transgender activist, author & veteran of the United States Navy, having served on two submarines. She is also the creator of the Transgender Pride Flag, in 1999 & subsequently donated the original flag to the Smithsonian Institution in 2014. Julian Sanjivan, NYC Pride March Director stated, “In a world where LGBTQIA+ people continue to experience profound oppression, the NYC Pride March is a beacon of hope & community. This June 30th, that beacon will shine the brightest it ever has when POSE, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, Gay Liberation Front, The Trevor Project & Monica Helms lead 115,000 marchers in the largest display of LGBTQIA+ pride the world has ever seen.”
For More Info...
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Thursday, April 11, 2019

Boston Pride Grants Announced

Boston Pride announced 24 recipients for their 2019 Boston Pride Community Fund with grants totally $43,610, a record amount. The Community Fund was established to provide grants to small grassroots nonprofits & other groups that support the LGBTQ community. Since 2016 Boston Pride has awarded almost $100,000 to approximately 60 local organizations, supporting its mission of promoting social justice for the LGBTQ community. The announcement was made at Boston Pride’s Annual Spring Open House held on April 9th at the Pride office in Boston. Kristen Porter, Boston Pride Community Fund Chair stated, “The Boston Pride Community Fund recognizes the innovative intersectional work happening at the local community-based & grass roots level. By supporting these efforts, we celebrate the impact being made across marginalized subgroups & through creative approaches, while safeguarding our history & embracing what is possible for the future of the LGBTQ community.” Linda J. DeMarco, Boston Pride President concluded, “Boston Pride has grown tremendously. As an organization that creates programming, events & forums for the LGBTQ community, we also are dedicated to helping strengthen grassroots organizations that serve our community & where much of the work on the ground is being done.” Boston Pride produces events & activities to achieve inclusivity, equality, respect & awareness in Greater Boston & beyond. Fostering diversity, unity, visibility & dignity, they educate, communicate & advocate by building & strengthening community connections. Boston Pride Week 2019 takes place May 31st to June 11th.
For More Info: bostonpride.org
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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Lawyer Ava Benach To Be Honored

The American Immigration Council will honor immigration lawyer Ava Benach with its Stephen K. Fischel Distinguished Public Service Award which recognizes individuals or organizations who exhibit an outstanding commitment & dedication to America’s heritage as a nation of immigrants & to the struggle for fair and humane immigration policies in the United States. The award will be presented at the D.C. Immigrant Achievement Awards Reception on April 11th at  The Capitol View at 400 during the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s (AILA) National Day of Action in Washington, D.C. Beth Werlin, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council stated, “We are thrilled that this year we will celebrate the Immigration Justice Campaign—our joint initiative with American Immigration Lawyers Association to fight for a fair day in court for detained immigrants & our partners who make the Campaign a success. Ava Benach is one of those partners. She is a fearless lawyer who has generously shared her experience & expertise with volunteers representing detained asylum seekers. Most recently, she has stepped up to provide mentorship in urgent cases on behalf of transgender women detained in Texas.” Benach has taken a lead role in representing transgender asylum seekers before the asylum office & the immigration courts. She has pioneered an innovative collaboration with Whitman Walker Health to provide quality representation to transgender immigrants while training the next generation of lawyers in representing LGBTQ immigrants. The Council has recognized the achievements of many outstanding immigrants & their advocates. Past honorees include General Colin Powell, Senator Daniel Inouye, the Southern Poverty Law Center, TheDream.Us, & Gerda Weissman Klein.
For More Info: immigrationimpact.com 
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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

LGBTQ Victory In Massachusetts

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has signed H. 140, a bill protecting our youth from so-called “conversion therapy,” into law. Massachusetts now becomes the 16th state in the U.S. to protect youth from this heartless practice. Marty Rouse, HRC National Field Director stated, “This legislation grants LGBTQ youth in Massachusetts a new freedom to live authentically, free from fear of the debunked & potentially life-threatening practice of so-called ‘conversion therapy. We thank & applaud Gov. Baker & the Massachusetts General Assembly for making these protections law & congratulate them in taking this momentous bipartisan step forward in ensuring Massachusetts is a safe and affirming state for all LGBTQ children.” There isn’t any credible evidence that conversion therapy can change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. To the contrary, research has clearly shown that these practices pose devastating health risks for LGBTQ young people such as depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, homelessness & even suicidal behavior. The harmful practice has been condemned by every major medical & mental health organization, including the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association & American Medical Association. Massachusetts becomes the 16th state to protect our youth from so-called “conversion therapy,” following California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington & the District of Columbia with Puerto Rico’s Governor issued an executive order protecting minors in the commonwealth from the harmful practice last month. Now we have just 34 states to go.
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Saturday, April 6, 2019

Vatican Meeting with LGBT Leaders

There was a meeting at the Vatican with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State & lawyers & leaders from international LGBT human rights organizations on Friday April 5th in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace. The meeting was to address improving the relationship between LGBT people & the Catholic Church. According to Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director, New Ways Ministry it was a step in the right direction but more action needs to happen. DeBernardo stated, “We had hoped for a stronger statement from Cardinal Parolin in response to the information presented by the LGBT advocates on human rights violations. Parolin reaffirmed church teaching on human dignity & opposition to violence of any sort & he promised to inform the pope of the meeting & to remain in touch with the leaders. But, the Vatican & especially Pope Francis, need to speak out more strongly against laws which criminalize LGBT people & cultural attitudes which support & promote violence against them. Vague generalizations will not suffice, nor will they be effective.” The New Ways Ministry is a 42-year old national Catholic ministry of justice & reconciliation for LGBT people & the church that’s based in Mount Rainer, Maryland. DeBernardo concluded, “Unfortunately, in many countries Catholic bishops have shamefully been either silent, or worse, supportive of measures that criminalize LGBT people, often with inhuman punishments. As a next step, Vatican officials & Pope Francis need to clearly & forcefully denounce LGBT criminalization laws. Decisive action is needed to respond to this terrible scourge which destroys lives & erodes human dignity.”
For More Info: newwaysministry.org
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Friday, April 5, 2019

Massachusetts Protects LGBTQ Kids

The Massachusetts House & Senate have both voted to ban Anti-LGBTQ Conversion Therapy & the bill has been sent to Governor Baker to sign into law, which will make the Commonwealth the 16th state to do so. Arline Isaacson, Co-Chair of the Coalition to Ban Conversion Therapy for Minors stated, “We are deeply grateful for the support of Speaker DeLeo & Senate President Spilka. Passage of this legislation will protect LGBTQ youth in Massachusetts from undergoing fraudulent & harmful medical treatments. Special thanks to Rep. Kay Khan & Sen. Julian Cyr for their extra efforts to get this bill passed in the version we most need. The legislature did a great service today to LGBTQ youth in Massachusetts. By protecting young people from undergoing the fraudulent & harmful treatments of forced Conversion Therapy, legislators showed their commitment to protecting kids from techniques that often lead to depression, despair, substance abuse & suicide. We urge Governor Baker to sign this important legislation.” Deborah Shields, JD, MPH MassEquality’s Executive Director concluded, “Massachusetts has an established history of standing up for fairness & equality & of protecting & supporting LGBTQ youth. MassEquality urges Governor Baker to sign this bill into law as soon as possible to protect the Commonwealth’s young people from this harmful & discredited practice.” The states already banning conversion therapy include California, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, Connecticut, Nevada, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Washington, Maryland, Hawaii, New Hampshire, New York, Delaware & the District of Columbia & Puerto Rico.
For More Info…
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Thursday, April 4, 2019

Brunei Law To Kill LGBT People

The Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah has implemented a law in his Southeast Asian country to punish anyone found guilty of committing adultery or having gay sex will be stoned or whipped to death. Ty Cobb HRC Global Director stated, “We are facing a dangerous crisis as Brunei is implementing laws that impose state-sponsored torture & murder of LGBTQ people. It’s absolutely crucial that the international community speak out now & demand that the Sultan of Brunei stop these barbaric changes that threaten the lives of Brunei citizens. The Trump-Pence Administration must also immediately make clear that these outrageous human rights abuses will not be tolerated.” Singer & LGBTQ Icon Elton John & Actor George Clooney have called for a boycott of nine hotels linked to Brunei including the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Bel-Air in Los Angeles, the Dorchester in London & Le Meurice in Paris. Clooney stated, "Let that sink in. In the onslaught of news where we see the world backsliding into authoritarianism this stands alone." With three of Brunei’s hotels in the UK the Peter Tatchell Foundation will be demonstrating against the Sultan of Brunei this Saturday April 6th 2P at the Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane W1 in London to protest Brunei's medieval Sharia legislation. Peter Tatchell stated, “The Sultan of Brunei, owner of the Dorchester Hotel, has enacted death by stoning for people found guilty of adultery, blasphemy, same-gender relations & straying from traditional interpretations of Islam. We must show him that the international community rejects this barbarism.”
For More Info…
LISTEN: Ted Allen Talks Dining Out For Life To Fight HIV/AIDS
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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Lesbian Mayoral Candidates Win

We’re on-track for 2019 to become the year of the Lesbian Mayor as Lori Lightfoot won her bid in Chicago, Illinois, Satya Rhodes-Conway won in Madison, Wisconsin & Jolie Justus placed in her Kansas City primary & will advance to the general election in June. Last month Jane Castor placed first in the Tampa mayoral election & is the frontrunner for the run-off election on April 23rd & if she wins will be the first openly LGBTQ mayor of a major city in the Southeast. Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund stated, “These historic victories leave us well-positioned to make 2019 the year of the lesbian mayor – potentially tripling the number of lesbians elected major city mayors in just one cycle. Lesbian mayors bring unique experiences & perspectives to the position that make them more empathetic, principled & values-driven leaders & voters in cities as diverse as Chicago, Kansas City, Madison & Tampa are clearly responding to that.” On Lori Lightfoot win Parker added, “A Black lesbian taking power in the nation’s third-largest city is a historic moment for so many communities that are too often ignored in American politics. Chicago’s enormous influence on the national dialogue provides a platform for Lori to promote more inclusive solutions to the challenges facing our cities & nation & to be a credible messenger as well. Lori will certainly remain focused on the issues facing Chicago. But as the highest-ranking LGBTQ person ever elected mayor of an American city a title she takes from me she is also now a key leader in the movement to build LGBTQ political power nationwide.” Annise Parker served as the first openly lesbian Mayor of Houston from 2010 to 2016.
For More Info: victoryfund.org
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Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Equality Act & LGBTQ Civil Rights

As Congressional hearings begin for the Equality Act April 2nd, LGBTQ advocates joined by Congressional leaders talk about how this federal civil rights legislation will protect millions of LGBTQ Americans & their families from discrimination. Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-5) stated, “The Equality Act is a long time coming — the result of the courage of activists & advocates who have risked their lives, raised their voices & demanded that we tear down the barriers to the American Dream for the LGBTQ community. Every American should be able to live, work & attend school in an environment free from hate, free from discrimination & free from artificial limits imposed by prejudice. The Equality Act will ensure the full legal & social equality of the LGBTQ community & Congress must have the courage to codify these rights into law.” Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Center of Transgender Equality added, “Too many transgender people are denied peace, dignity & safety & we were reminded of the tragic consequences of that over this past weekend—on Sunday morning, we were heartbroken to learn of the death of Ashanti Carmon, a young Black transgender woman. To be sure, no single piece of legislation can hope to permanently end assault & murder against transgender people. But the Equality Act is a necessary step to point our nation in the right direction.” Winnie Stachelberg, Executive Vice President of External Affairs at the Center for American Progress concluded, “At its best, America is defined by an abiding faith in the values of love, compassion & respect for our common humanity. I am proud to join advocates in every corner of our nation in urging Congress to pass the bipartisan Equality Act of 2019 & I hope this week’s historic hearings on the bill will bring our nation closer to finally passing this vital piece of landmark legislation.” (Graphic by Richard Emmanuel)
For More Info…
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Monday, April 1, 2019

Cleve Jones LGBTQ Trip To Cuba

Rainbow World Fund has been visiting Cuba since 2012 & Cleve Jones LGBTQ Icon Activist & Founder of the Memorial AIDS Quilt will be joining them on their humanitarian trip from May 8th to 18th. Jones has been invited to Cuba by Dr. Mariela Castro Espin to receive the CENESEX (Cuban National Center for Sex Education) Prize in recognition of his contributions to the LGBTQ movement. Jones stated, “I've always wanted to go to Cuba & it's a good time to see what life is like for LGBT people & for people, like myself, who are living with HIV." During this fabulous journey you’ll learn from the Cubans about the realities of their country including visiting projects that serve the Cuban people & meet with members of the LGBTQ community, church leadership, artists & leaders in many fields. You will gain insight into the struggles & hopes of the Cuban people & visit places such as medical clinics, programs that serve the elderly, art institutions, schools & other historical & cultural sights. The many highlights include participating in the LGBTQ Pride celebrations in Havana. To be part of this once in a lifetime experience the trip cost is $2,800 & includes a Cuba travel visa (required), all hotels & accommodations, in-country transportation by private van, all meals (except one), all tips/gratuities, translation & guide services, speakers fees, entrance fees to special events. It does not include round trip air transportation from the USA. Flights are available from several US airports to Havana. We talked to fierce LGBT ally Jon Alpert about his HBO documentary “Mariela Castro’s March: Cuba’s LGBT Revolution” in November of 2016. LISTEN
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